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  1. Blog
  2. Home Features : The World’s Most Wanted
Research & Insights
22 February 2022

Home Features : The World’s Most Wanted

Sam Edwards
Writer
House Features Title

Table of contents

  1. 1. Most popular home feature in the world
  2. 2. UK’s most popular home feature
  3. 3. UK Top 10
  4. 4. Flat roofs - what’s the deal?
  5. 5. Room with a view
  6. 6. In Conclusion
  7. 7. Methodology
  8. 8. Full list of countries and features

For thousands of years, we’ve built our homes according to both our tastes and needs. Whether for cultural or environmental reasons, our preferences differ from country to country. You wouldn’t find an entire city painted blue in Texas - but in Morocco, the blue city of Chefchaouen (chef-shau-wn) is a cultural landmark. Likewise, you would be hard-pressed to find earthquake-proof buildings in London, but in Tokyo you’d find plenty.

It goes without saying that properties change from country to country. But how do our ideal homes differ? What are the most sought after property features in the world? Are there any staggering differences?

As the leading independent fact-based estate agent comparison site, we’re intrigued to know what makes a home sell. So we set out to discover the world’s most wanted home features.

Here’s what we found:

Global House Features, World Map GET AGENT - WORLD MAP

Most popular home feature in the world Top 10

Our research tells us the most popular home feature in the world is a pool. Over 52 countries currently desire properties with swimming pools.

To us Brits, this might sound extravagant. Our temperate (often rainy) climate tapers any fantasies of outdoor pools. Back in 2009, the Daily Mail estimated that there were only 210,000 private pools in the UK. That’s 0.31% of our population today. In the US however, 8% of Americans were found to have swimming pools in their homes. Indeed, pools are a lot cheaper in the US than they are in the UK:

  • In the US, the average inground pool costs $35,000, which is £25,792.37 (Forbes)
  • In the UK however, the cheapest inground pool costs £60,000 (Checkatrade)

While certainly less expensive than in the UK, $35,000 is still a lot of money. In Sweden, the average cost of an in-ground pool is $25,000, and in Spain you can expect a pool to cost €15,000 - €20,000. Though less than UK prices, these estimates aren’t exactly cheap, but when it comes to buying and selling property, a house with a pool is more desirable than a house without.

Why does the world love pools?

There’s a reason why swimming pools feature almost exclusively in music videos and photoshoots.

  • As a luxury item, they are a status symbol nearly all over the world.
  • They provide entertainment on hot, sunny days (or cold ones if you have an inside pool).
  • They introduce an exciting way to workout from your own home.

The most searched for home feature in the UK is ‘Land’. Interestingly, this was shared by just two other countries in the world - the United States and Barbados.

House with Land - GetAgent

Without further research, it’s hard to say. But historically, land ownership has always been ingrained within Western ideas of success. In the Middle Ages, peasants owed their livelihoods and servitude to the lords who owned their plots of land. Several hundred years later, English Puritans sailed to the Americas with the self-same desire for more living space.

While quite a leap, it would make sense that homes attached to plots of land still carry a sense of grandeur, privacy, and above all else, status. As reported in The Guardian, half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population. Whether aspirational or functional, it makes sense that something so desired would be owned by so few.

UK Top 10

With land being the most popular feature in the UK, what were the runner-ups?

Most wanted house features in the UK TOP 10

The second most popular house feature is an ‘annex’. Annexes (also known as ‘granny flats’) are popular throughout the world, in particular, Canada, Germany and New Zealand where the term is their most desired feature.

What does the UK’s Top 10 say about our tastes?

While all of these home features are pretty different, you could infer that they’re connected by a desire for more space - whether that’s more room for leisure activities (bars, pools and stables) or a need for escapism (summer houses, woodlands and waterfalls).

Flat roofs - what’s the deal?

In eight countries, flat roofs were found to be the most searched for property feature.

What’s so special about flat roofs, and why are they so popular in these countries?

Generally, flat roofs aren’t generally advised for countries with high snowfall, as snow can accumulate and damage them. Flat roofs are more common in hot regions with little snowfall and moderate rainfall like South Africa, Suriname and Croatia.

So with seemingly little in common between them, what makes flat roofs a desirable feature in these particular countries? We did some research into their practical advantages and disadvantages to find out what the buzz was about.

Pros of flat roofs

  • Lower construction and repair costs
  • They require less space and materials than pitched roofs
  • They are much quicker to install
  • They are versatile and can be turned into rooftop gardens
  • They are much more energy efficient
  • Greater stability against high winds
  • For multi-storied buildings, flat roofs are the best choice

Cons of flat roofs

  • They don’t drain as easily
  • Depending on materials, they can wear due to heavy snowfall

A cheaper, more energy efficient alternative to pitched roofs, flat roofs offer homeowners the possibility of a rooftop garden, while providing greater stability against high winds. However, their utility comes at a cost, with poor drainage and an ill-fitting design for snowfall. Are there any other reasons why homeowners are setting their eyes on flat roof houses?

property with flat roof

Flat roofs are in style

While practical advantages and disadvantages are important, style and fashion play a huge role when we’re choosing our homes. Many modern properties built in the last decade incorporate a flat roof design. You could say that they’re a popular feature all over the world. Whether or not the popularisation of the flat roof design has influenced homeowners in these eight countries however, is up for debate.

Most desired house features in Europe

Room with a view

In nine countries, ‘house with a good view’ was the most popular feature-related search. Unlike our ‘flat roof’ searchers, these countries have a few things in common.

  • Afghanistan
  • Cambodia
  • Iran
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Tunisia
  • Vietnam

pexels-khoa-võ-5812888

The most common feature among these countries is their climate. Nearly all of them have hot climates, varying from arid, tropical, and mediterranean. Another shared feature is their location. Most of them are located in the continent of Asia (except for Tunisia which is located in North Africa).

Why do these countries want properties with good views?

It’s safe to assume that properties with attractive views are among the most expensive, especially in pockets of densely populated urban areas. As with many of our findings (pools, land, flat roofs), good views denote wealth and status, and would likely help properties fetch a higher price.

Most desired house features - Asia

In Conclusion

No matter where we are in the world, we share a love for properties that are both spacious and stylish. A house fitting this description will nearly always fetch a higher price on the market. While you’d be extremely lucky to possess half the features mentioned in this research, every house has its own individual qualities that make it a valuable asset.

To find out how much your home is worth, visit our free Online House Valuation Tool today and get an instant valuation report sent straight to your inbox.

Methodology

We used Google search data to determine the most popular home features. To find our results, we used both English, and the country’s respective, officially recognised languages. Some countries did not have any available data. All data was correct at the time of research, January 22nd 2022.

Full list of countries and features

CountryMost searched feature
AfghanistanGood View
AlbaniaPool
AlgeriaPool
AndorraPool
AngolaPool
Antigua and Barbuda3 bedrooms
Argentina3 bedrooms
ArmeniaLoft
AustraliaNo steps
AustriaPool
AzerbaijanGarden
BahamasGarage
Bahrain- No Data -
BangladeshGarden
BarbadosLand
BelarusFlat roof
BelgiumGarden
BelizeLoft
BeninBay window
Bhutan- No Data -
Bolivia3 bedrooms
Bosnia and HerzegovinaPool
Botswana3 bedrooms
BrazilPool
Brunei3 bedrooms
BulgariaGarden
Burkina FasoGarage
Burundi- No Data -
Cabo Verde- No Data -
CambodiaGood View
Cameroon4 bedrooms
CanadaAnnex
Central African Republic- No Data -
Chad- No Data -
ChilePool
ChinaCourtyard
ColombiaPool
Comoros- No Data -
Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)5 bedrooms
Costa RicaPool
Côte d'IvoirePool
CroatiaFlat roof
CubaPool
CyprusPool
Czechia (Czech Republic)Pool
Democratic Republic of the Congo4 bedrooms
DenmarkGarden
Djibouti- No Data -
Dominica- No Data -
Dominican RepublicPool
EcuadorPool
EgyptGarden
El SalvadorPool
Equatorial Guinea- No Data -
Eritrea- No Data -
EstoniaSauna
Eswatini (fmr. "Swaziland")- No Data -
Ethiopia2 bedrooms
FijiBalcony
FinlandPool
FrancePool
GabonPool
GambiaPool
GeorgiaPool
GermanyAnnex
Ghana3 bedrooms
GreeceGarden
Grenada- No Data -
GuadeloupeGarden
GuatemalaFront porch
Guinea- No Data -
Guinea-Bissau- No Data -
GuyanaBalcony
HaitiPool
Holy See- No Data -
HondurasFront porch
HungaryPool
IcelandHigh ceilings
IndiaPooja (prayer) room
IndonesiaGarden
IranGood View
IraqGarden
IrelandHorse Stables
IsraelPool
ItalyGarden
JamaicaPool
JapanGarden
JordanDetached house
KazakhstanCentral heating
Kenya3 bedrooms
Kiribati- No Data -
Kuwait- No Data -
KyrgyzstanPool
Laos- No Data -
LatviaLarge windows
LebanonPool
Lesotho3 bedrooms
Liberia- No Data -
Libya- No Data -
Liechtenstein- No Data -
LithuaniaLoft
LuxembourgGarage
MadagascarTerrace
Malawi3 bedrooms
MalaysiaGood View
MaldivesPool
Mali4 bedrooms
MaltaGarden
Marshall Islands- No Data -
Mauritania- No Data -
MauritiusPool
MexicoPool
Micronesia- No Data -
MoldovaFlat roof
MonacoPool
MongoliaGood View
MontenegroPool
MoroccoPool
MozambiquePool
Myanmar (formerly Burma)Garden
Namibia3 bedrooms
Nauru- No Data -
NepalEarthquake-free
NetherlandsHorse Stables
New ZealandAnnex
NicaraguaFront porch
Niger5 bedrooms
Nigeria3 bedrooms
North Korea- No Data -
North MacedoniaGarden
NorwayGarage
OmanGarden
PakistanGarden
Palau- No Data -
Palestine StatePool
PanamaPool
Papua New GuineaBalcony
Paraguay3 bedrooms
PeruPool
PhilippinesPool
PolandFlat roof
PortugalPool
Puerto RicoPool
QatarPool
RomaniaLoft
RussiaFlat roof
Rwanda6 bedrooms
Saint Kitts and Nevis- No Data -
Saint Lucia- No Data -
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPool
Samoa- No Data -
San MarinoFireplace
Sao Tome and Principe- No Data -
Saudi ArabiaGarden
SenegalBalcony
SerbiaSun dial
SeychellesPool
Sierra Leone3 bedrooms
SingaporeGood View
SlovakiaFlat roof
SloveniaPool
Solomon Islands- No Data -
Somalia3 bedrooms
South AfricaFlat roof
South KoreaGood View
South Sudan- No Data -
SpainPool
Sri LankaGarden
Sudan- No Data -
SurinameFlat roof
SwedenPool
SwitzerlandPool
Syria- No Data -
Tajikistan3 story house
Tanzania2 bedrooms
ThailandBarn
Timor-Leste4 bedrooms
Togo3 bedrooms
Tonga- No Data -
Trinidad and TobagoPool
TunisiaGood View
TurkeyFireplace
TurkmenistanAnnex
Tuvalu- No Data -
Uganda3 bedrooms
UkraineTerrace
United Arab EmiratesRoof deck
United KingdomLand
United States of AmericaLand
UruguayPool
UzbekistanLoft
VanuatuPool
VenezuelaPool
VietnamGood View
Yemen- No Data -
Zambia3 bedrooms
Zimbabwe3 bedrooms

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